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The Lifespan of Asphalt Shingles

Close-up of asphalt roof against blue sky
If you are ever asked to name the top roofing material, asphalt shingles should definitely be in the running. After all, they top some 80 percent of residential roofs in the United States, according to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association. The organization credits the shingles’ attractiveness, affordability, and reliability for winning over consumers, but what about durability? What is the lifespan of asphalt shingles? If asphalt shingles make up your roof, what do you need to know to get the most life out of your roof?

What Should Homeowners Know About the Lifespan of Asphalt Shingles?

Your home’s roof has a vital function. By ensuring that the elements stay outside, it protects your home and its residents and contents. However, nothing lasts forever. Understanding the expected lifespan of your roof allows you to plan for its eventual replacement. If you’re unsure of your roof’s age, it’s helpful to know how to find that out. You’ll also want to explore factors that can impact your roof’s lifespan and learn the signs that indicate that it’s time to replace your asphalt shingle roof.

What Is the Lifespan of Asphalt Shingles?

As Bob Vila explains, the expected life of an asphalt shingle roof generally ranges from 15 to 30 years. There are many reasons for the wide range. For starters, different manufacturers offer products at numerous quality levels. Also, there are several kinds of asphalt shingles. Organic shingles feature an asphalt coating on an organic base. Fiberglass shingles consist of an asphalt coating on a fiberglass base. Architectural shingles are denser products that are nearly three times as thick as traditional shingles.

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How Old Is Your Roof?

If you purchased a newly constructed home or handled the installation of your roof, then you know how old your roof is. However, there are times when that knowledge is missing from a homeowner’s files. If you want to fill in the gap, you have a few options. If you live in an area where permits are required for roofing, you can check with your permitting office. Discovering the date for the permit should give you the age of your roof. If that’s not an option, consider reaching out to a roofing contractor in your area for an inspection. They may be able to give you an estimate based on the roof’s condition.

What Impacts Your Asphalt Shingle Roof’s Lifespan?

When you’re trying to judge how much life is left in your roof, recognizing what can affect your shingles is essential. Several things can impact the lifespan of asphalt shingles:

  • Weather conditions. Strong storms and big swings in temperature are hard on asphalt shingles. Repeated exposure to these conditions can shorten their lifespan.
  • Installation issues. Proper installation is key. Poor workmanship or low-quality materials can lead to leaks and other problems.
  • Slope and effect. Roofs with little slope sometimes allow snow, water, and debris to linger on their shingles. This can increase the risk of mold, mildew, and rot.
  • Sun and shade. The ratio of sun and shade can impact how quickly your shingles age. More time in strong sunlight can prompt asphalt shingles to curl, aging them more quickly.
  • Shingle color. Dark shingles hold more heat from the sun. This may speed up the aging process slightly.
  • Maintenance. A roof that’s been ignored will generally fail sooner than one that’s been maintained.
  • Attic ventilation. Installing the right insulation in your attic helps to maintain the balance between your climate-controlled home and the air outside.
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How Can You Tell When It’s Time to Replace an Asphalt Shingle Roof?

As Fixr indicates, there are quite a few red flags that can signal it’s time to consider a replacement for your asphalt shingle roof. If you look up at the roof and notice cracked or curling shingles or places where shingles are missing, be concerned. Finding asphalt granules in your gutters or shingles in your yard is also a clear indication that your roof may need repair or replacement. Finally, it’s worth considering your roof’s age. While newer roofs may qualify for repair, older roofs are more likely to need replacement.

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If you have questions about asphalt shingles or the state of your roof, contact Taylor-Made Roofing for help. Our experts can help you sort through commercial roof systems, maintain an older roof, perform emergency repairs, complete tear-offs and recovers, and perform remodeling services. With over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial roofing, Taylor-Made Roofing is a company that you can trust with all of your roofing needs. Our family-owned business offers quality services, a reassuring warranty, and free estimates. For more information regarding roofing materials, please give us a call at 417-326-8778 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!

Fully licensed and insured, Taylor-Made Roofing is ready to take care of your roof.
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